Yamaha Naked Bikes – 10 Motorcycles For All Budgets

  • By: Emily
  • Date: 30/04/2022
  • Time to read: 13 min.

Yamaha knows a thing or two about producing incredible motorcycles, showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon they remain one of the worlds biggest motorcycle manufacturers.

Part of that success has been catering for all audiences and budgets, so when it comes to being on trend with the uprising in recent years of naked bikes, it comes as no surprise that Yamaha have produced a bike for everyone.

Naked motorcycles are traditionally the dressed down versions of their sportsbike fully faired siblings; quite often you will find a naked bike and sportsbike in a manufacturer’s line up that share many of the same components and engine such as the Ducati Streetfighter V4S and Panigale V4

They are built for the street, they usually have more upright riding positions for extra comfort and longer riding times in the saddle. 

Sometimes the engine will be tuned differently than the sportsbike sibling, so that there is more low-mid range power which makes the bike more usable around town as opposed to the track. 

Let’s take a look at Yamaha’s current naked bikes.

Yamaha XSR900

XSR900 is a retro styled naked bike
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The XSR900 has had a complete update for 2022

For 2022 Yamaha have completely overhauled the XSR900 the biggest changes aside from styling come in the form of a new engine and chassis. 

It was first presented to the world in 2016 as a modern retro design that was visually very pretty and from a riding perspective was very impressive using the MT-09 torquey engine. 

While still retro, the new XSR900 is taking styling cues from the 1980’s, the era of Grand Prix racing machines switching from super classy traditional motorcycles to sporty and edgy, with the styling matching the performance. 

Powering the bike is the updated 890cc inline-triple cylinder engine that can also be found in the new MT-09 and Tracer 9 GT. More power and torque was the aim of the game along with weight reduction and a more free revving system.

The frame is more compact, lightweight and its overall rigidity is improved making for brilliant handling, increased agility and precise steering. 

Yamaha have also thrown a lot of modern tech at the model with a new 6-axis IMU allowing for a host of rider aids; lean-sensitive Traction Control, Slide Control, front wheel Lift Control and ABS. All of these can be adjusted for different levels or indeed turned off. 

Who’s it for?

The XSR900 is going to suit the modern rider who has an affinity with Yamaha’s racing lineage back to the 80’s. 

The bulky sculpted tank, chunky rear seat and overall muscular look is attractive and reminiscent of the old days while the modern features ensure a present-day reliable and exhilarating ride. 

USA Price

$9,999

UK Price

£10,200

Yamaha XSR700

XSR700
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The XSR700 is based on the popular MT 07

Yamaha have approached the XSR700 slightly differently to the bigger model. It is a bit less of a brute and retains sleek, classy, timeless styling that oozes authenticity. 

Influenced by previous ‘XS’ motorcycles, the XSR700 is an honest motorcycle, minimalist but performance driven, ready for the highway, back roads and around town; it is the do-it-all road motorcycle.

The engine is a compact two-cylinder, with impressive amounts of torque complimented by a smooth throttle with pulling power at high rpms. 

Yamaha claims the model has been engineered for both optimum riding enjoyment and a confidence boosting riding experience. 

The ergonomics back this ideology up with a narrow body, low seat, upright riding position, wide bars and pegs set in a comfortable natural place 

The XSR700 won’t look out of place riding with your sportsbike riding mates, or at a classic bike show, it has the perfect combination of sporty aesthetics and abilities mixed with cool retro touches, it is far from a generic motorcycle.

There’s also plenty of accessories available so you can make it your own from the get go.

Who’s it for?

The XSR700 is for novice riders and veterans alike, it is an easy to handle, accessible, honest motorcycle, with usable power and torque built to be enjoyed by all. 

USA Price

$8799

UK Price

£8000

Yamaha XSR125

Yamaha XSR125 retro bike is for learners
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XSR125 naked is aimed at UK and EU learners

New for 2022, the XSR125 the latest lightweight edition to their sports heritage line up. 

The XSR125 comes in bright color options like red and yellow along with a moodier blacked out version too. 

While part of the sports heritage line, it stands out as its own kind of motorcycle, with its own edge and style which consists of a more fun take on the retro scene with less of an aggressive attitude seen on the bigger XSR700 and 900. 

Just because it is the baby of the bunch doesn’t mean Yamaha has neglected quality parts, the 125 gets the same LCD instruments and LED lighting. 

It also uses a tried and tested version of the lightweight Deltabox frame. 

There are plenty of customization options and accessories available for the XSR125 as it is part of the ‘Faster Son’s’ lineup including a full retro clothing collection.  

Who’s it for?

Undoubtedly the XSR125 is aimed at new UK and EU riders to get them into the fold. 

It has appeal to riders of all ages, with the youth appreciating the sporty side of the styling and older riders looking for something more grown up than alternative 125’s on the market. 

Note that the XSR125 is not currently available in the US where licensing laws for novice riders are different to the UK where many new riders will start out on 125cc motorbikes

UK Price

£4,550

Yamaha MT 10

Yamaha hyper naked MT10
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The hyper naked MT 10

Yamaha’s Hyper Naked MT range completely changed the motorcycle world upon its first release just over a decade ago. They are available in a whole range of capacities, it is very unlikely you will go to your local biker haunt and not come across an MT. 

The two models the MT 10 and MT 10SP are the biggest and baddest of the bunch with the engine and chassis being derived from the iconic R1. 

The MT 10 has had an overhaul for 2022 with the company removing anything unnecessary to show the compact frame and muscular engines beauty off.

Subtle details like enlarging the intake ducts and refinements to the headlights and nose assembly have made all the difference in making the MT 10 that bit more aggressive in its looks and stance. 

The model shares the same IMU as the XSR900 and so is also packed with customisable rider aids; the MT also gains a full color TFT display. 

The new CP4 crossplane engine shared with the Yamaha YZF-R1 has been refined for the Hyper Naked bike, offering linear and torque rich power delivery; it has a completely street focused engine character. 

Yamaha MT 10SP

Top of the range hyper-naked MT-10SP
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Top of the range hyper-naked MT-10SP

The MT10SP takes things that little bit further than the standard MT10, it is the most powerful Hyper Naked motorcycle the company have ever produced and is class leading. 

There are not hundreds of differences between the two leading models, but what the ones that do exist drastically improve the handling.

  • Advanced Ohlins Semi-Active Suspension
  • Braided Steel Brake Lines
  • SP styling and spec

Where the base MT 10 is built for everything the street can throw at it, the MT10SP is ready for all of that and to do it upholding race spec standards.

The suspension set up can be adjusted to suit your exact riding style and the automatic mode will adjust to ensure it matches the riding conditions so you can get the best out of the bike. 

It is a naked motorcycle that could be taken to the track and outperform many traditional fully faired sportsbikes, the SP is a dominating force to be reckoned with. 

Who’s it for?

The MT10 is for the experienced rider, perhaps one who has logged plenty of sportsbike miles but now wants a more comfortable street bike to get around on without sacrificing the performance and agile handling that they are used to. 

Many may consider the SP out of their budget and not see the benefits over the standard MT10 for the extra cost, so I would suggest it is more of a niche model. 

MT 10 USA Price

$13,999

MT 10 UK Price

£13,500

MT 10 SP USA Price

$16,899

MT 10 SP UK Price

£16,000

Yamaha MT 09

Yamaha MT 09 triple cylinder naked bike
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Triple cylinder MT-09

The company claims the original MT 09 inspired 50,000 European riders to join the Hyper Naked movement, and I am inclined to believe those numbers. 

Between the MT 09 and MT 07 there was rarely a day when I was working in the motorcycle clothing store that I didn’t see one or the other in the car park, and I never got bored of seeing them either.

The latest MT 09 is built to an even higher standard than before and has all of Yamaha’s latest tech equipped making it a class-leading ride. 

Sharing the same engine as the XSR900 and Tracer GT the new 890cc, inline-three cylinder is powerful, torquey and ready for some fun. 

All of the fundamental parts of the engine were re-designed to be lighter including the pistons, connecting rods, camshafts and crankcase, this has also resulted in the bike having better fuel efficiency. 

The new MT 09, like several of the newest models in Yamaha’s range has the six-axis IMU and a full color TFT display. 

Those that know about the MT range particularly the 09 and 07 know that they are wheelie monsters, so having the ability to alter your rider aids to suit is perfect for those that want to practice their skills. 

Equally if keeping two wheels on the ground is more your style then you can implement the necessary aids to help you do that. 

Yamaha MT 09SP

The updated and improved for 2022, the MT 09 SP
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The updated and improved for 2022, the MT 09 SP

Just like the MT10SP the SP version of the MT 09 is the base model on steroids with a more premium setup. 

Unlike with the MT10 there is less of a price gap between the MT 09 and the SP version, so those in the market may feel more inclined to make the leap to the higher spec. 

You get KYB and Ohlins suspension; the KYB front suspension can be adjusted on each side for compression and rebound damping and the premium Ohlins rear shock can be adjusted with a remote adjuster; the suspension set up produces great handling and is considered to be class leading. 

You also get a cool cruise control feature that can be activated from 31mph onwards, which is perfect for long straight stretches of road when touring. 

The model comes with SP unique styling which consists of special colors and graphics along with a clear coated silver swingarm. 

Who’s it for?

The MT 09 is a functional street bike with great performance features that wouldn’t be out of place on the track, it can be a torquey beast that unleashes your inner hooligan or it can be the perfect road bike for everyday needs and longer touring trips. 

The motorcycle is definitely more suited to a more experienced rider due its powerful nature and novices are unlikely to be able to immediately unleash its full potential. 

If I was going for the MT 09 I wouldn’t hesitate in shooting for the SP version to gain those extra upgrades which make the ride that bit better. 

MT 09 USA Price

$9,499

MT 09 UK Price

£9,400

MT 09 SP USA Price

$11,099

MT 09 SP UK Price

£10,650

Yamaha MT 07

The Yamaha MT 07 is one of the best selling motorcycles of all time
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The Yamaha MT 07 is one of the best selling motorcycles of all time

The MT 07 is in my top 10 of favorite motorcycles of all time. Sure at one point it seemed like the whole world was riding around on one, but that is for good reason, the MT 07 is a revolutionary naked bike and it just got even better. 

An updated liquid-cooled, inline-twin, DOHC engine with fuel injection has been loaded into the bike, which provides awesome low-mid range torque, a linear throttle response that has high rpm pulling power. 

This makes for an exciting riding experience when out on the road, it has optimized what the MT 07 was built to do, to tackle the streets effortlessly and with style. 

The Japanese giants have sold over 125,000 units of the MT 07 since its launch, making it one of their most popular releases of all time. 

The riding position is upright, assertive, confident which makes riding the bike easy. The chassis is rigid and compact which gives the bike its agility making it great for around town but also on the straights at speed. 

The MT 07 is the market leader for its class, an all round excellent feat of mechanical engineering and design that has taken the world by storm, it offers exceptional value for money without sacrificing quality. 

Who’s it for?

It really depends on the rider’s mindset as to who this model is for. 

In the US it would be fair to assume that the MT 07 is accessible for new riders and makes a good first bike or first big bike, the roads are wider than in the UK, longer, faster etc and the 690cc is more than capable of handling that. 

However, in the UK maybe the MT 07 shouldn’t be your first step into the Hyper Naked range with the MT03 being a more reasonable and capable solution. 

What it comes down to is can you trust yourself with the amount of power at the throttle, can you handle the torque and not get carried away. 

Just because MT 07 is a smaller bike than the bigger MT 09 and 10 doesn’t mean it is a small bike or should be treated as one. 

USA Price

$7,899

UK Price

£7,200

Yamaha MT 03

The Yamaha MT 03
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The Yamaha MT 03

The second smallest of the Hyper Naked line up is the MT 03 (the smallest available in the US).

Just because it has a smaller engine doesn’t mean it is a weak, feeble shadow of the bigger machines, far from it. 

The MT 03 shines in its own class and has merits the bigger siblings don’t. 

The motorcycle is incredibly lightweight, its agility unrivaled, the low seat height and ergonomics make the bike comfortable and easy to manage, inspiring you to get that bit lower in bends etc. 

The twin-cylinder engine has usable power in the low rpm range and plenty of power up top to get up to speed too, the clutch is light and the throttle response efficient, quick and smooth making riding around the city a breeze.

It is a capable commuter that can turn into a weekend ride with ease, keeping up on the highway and enjoying the twisties. 

We all know that I would rather have a smaller capacity bike than a big one, why? Chasing the red line on a small bike is so much more fun and satisfying. 

The MT 03 is second only to the BMW G310R in my list of favourite small capacity roadsters.

Who’s it for?

In the US the MT 03 makes for the perfect beginner motorcycle, it has enough power and big bike feel for all roads, it is perfectly manageable and you can have a blast riding it. 

The same goes for those in Europe and the UK, once you have passed your tests the MT 03 makes a great first bike either after a 125cc or straightaway (age dependent for licensing). 

When you look at the pricing between the MT 03 and MT125 it makes a lot of sense for new riders to shoot for the 03 as you get more bike for the money and arguably more longevity if you plan to quickly move up from a 125cc. 

The MT 03 is also a brilliant commuter tool.

USA Price

$4,799

UK Price

£5,600

Yamaha MT 125

For a 125cc motorbike, the Yamaha MT125 has big bike looks
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For a 125cc motorbike, the Yamaha MT125 has big bike looks

The all new MT 125 is equipped with a EU5 compliant high tech engine, with Variable Valve Actuation to ensure optimum performance at all times across the powerbands. 

It really is a 125 designed like no other on the market, it is aggressive, designed to thrill, to look bigger than it is and perform like a bigger bike too, which is all part of the models attraction. 

The bike is lightweight, agile, well balanced, has wide bars, neutral pegs and a wide seat that cradles the lower back for maximum comfort and control. 

It is one of the best 125cc motorcycles on the market without a doubt and will quite happily keep up with traffic for all legal speed restrictions, which isn’t always the case with 125cc bikes. 

Who’s it for?

Not available in the US, the MT 125 is one of the leading best sellers of 125cc motorcycles for new and young riders in the UK, which is down to its styling and performance.

The MT 125 offers big boy looks for a smaller capacity machine, and the smooth engine performance makes it a great bike to learn to ride on, then to carry on riding just for fun once you have passed your full license tests. 

Standing an MT 125 alongside the bigger models in the range, unless you are looking closely it is hard to see much of a difference which gives it huge bonus points for new riders. 

MT125 Price

£4,800

Summary

All Yamaha’s naked bikes are available with plenty of accessories and features so you can customize your bike and make it your own. Some you will expect such as ABS, comfort seat options, colour scheme, graphics etc. Others such as smartphone connectivity to appeal to the younger generation, not so much.

Yamaha do try and appeal to all ages and experience levels and you could do a lot worse than add one of their motorcycles to your shed, regardless whether it’s your first and tenth bike.

All images via Yamaha website

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